The impact of Brexit on protected food names

Published 7 December 16

The latest in AHDB’s series of Horizon reports considers the impact that Brexit may have on the industry in terms of products of Geographical Indication (GI). The protection of geographical names designating agricultural products has existed for over 100 years and, currently, three schemes are available through the EU. The UK has 61 registered GI food products, including a dozen or so dairy products, such as West Country Farmhouse Cheddar and Cornish Clotted Cream. GIs enable producers to differentiate their products and protect them from imitation within the EU and on some international markets.

The report concludes that, when the UK leaves the EU, registered protected food names should still be able to benefit from EU protection, provided there is a reciprocal agreement between the UK and the EU. There are currently 23 EU GI product registrations from non-EU countries. If the UK wishes to register protected food names with the EU post-Brexit, it would need to set up its own national approval scheme. Only products approved by a non-EU country’s own national scheme can be considered for approval under the EU protected food scheme.

The full report, which also looks at the three different schemes and examines their impact and importance to UK agriculture, can be downloaded here.